On Oct. 20, the Molokai Farmers welcomed the Seabury Spartans in an 8-man rematch football game. During the second quarter, Noah Caparida, No. 19 for the Farmers, was ejected from the game after earning a second touchdown for the Farmers. A personal foul of excessive celebration was called by a referee and supported by the head referee.
This poses a concern for parents and fans for both the Farmers and the Spartans: What is excessive celebration? There was no spiking of the football, body high-five, swearing, dancing, throwing of the ball, but just saying the word "yes" and putting an arm in the air. This is expected by someone who just made a touchdown. There's nothing flagrant about achieving a run and scoring points for the team, especially when the touchdown gave the Farmers the lead at the closing of the second quarter.
Caparida, one of the team captains, has led the Farmers and Maui Interscholastic League in rushing yards, averaging more than 100 yards a game. The call made by the referee turned the course of the game significantly, giving the Farmers a disadvantage in their rematch against the Spartans, who were undefeated.
Caparida was seen in tears and questioned what just happened when the referee signaled to eject him out of the game. His father, Lani Caparida, said, "It's an injustice for our children to build them up as student-athletes and tear them down, kicking them out of a game. It doesn't make any sense."